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NEA’s Read Across America 2021-22 State Affiliate Event Grant Criteria

NEA State Affiliates may apply for a Read Across America Event Grant to enhance state affiliate-coordinated Read Across America events and/or activities based on the theme of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.”
Published: 10/08/2020

Please note: Only NEA State Affiliates may apply for these grants.

Application Deadline: November 12, 2021

Applicants will be notified by: December 17, 2021


NEA State Affiliates may apply for a "Read Across America Grant" to enhance Read Across America activities coordinated by the State Affiliate. Emphasis should be placed on “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers” with diverse books, promoting a love of reading, and focusing attention on the literacy needs and successes of children of all ages.*

Affiliates may apply for any amount up to a maximum of $7,500. A total of $50,000 will be awarded.

Read Across America is a year-round program that can fit reading fun and discovery into daily, weekly, and monthly calendars with diverse books about everyone, for everyone. Ideally, grant funds would support event(s) or activities that culminate or launch on or about "NEA's Read Across America Day," which is Wednesday, March 2, 2021.

Examples of appropriate events and/or activities include:

  • The development of state-wide, community-wide, or school-wide RAA Book Clubs that encourage students to read and discuss books, reflect and write, and put ideas sparked by reading into action.
  • A statewide reading tour that makes school visits to conduct reading events that focus on diverse books in coordination with the local Association.
  • An event(s) that focuses on a recommended title(s) from the RAA Digital Calendar, such as a virtual or in-person visit with the author or illustrator.
  • A state-wide promotion of “Read Across [insert state name] that focuses on diverse books and authors that make your state unique, helps to diversify school library bookshelves, and invites special guests from the community to read with kids.
  • Large reading celebrations(s) with members and students held at public venues such as children's museums, sports or entertainment facilities, libraries, or other public venue that will accommodate several classes of students (possibly from multiple schools), such as a Read Across America Book-nic featuring storytellers, read-alouds from local celebrities, and picnic games for kids.
  • Other Association-recommended events or activities.

Read Across America Resources

Find ideas, an online toolkit, and other resources to help you brainstorm an appropriate event or activity at Find activity ideas related to specific book titles in the RAA Digital Calendar:

Application Deadline

Completed applications must be submitted by Friday, November 12, 2021.

What NEA Will Provide

Affiliate’s Role and Responsibilities

  • Implementation of the proposed program, event, or activity outlined in the State Affiliate Event Grant application. RAA grant should supplement funding, resources, and staffing from the State and/or Local Affiliates involved. Activities should target schools with student populations in greatest need.
  • Promotion of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers” and NEA's Read Across America program on State and Local Affiliates’ online and social media, publications, news releases, and other member and external communication vehicles. NEA and RAA logos should appear alongside/near the state and/or local affiliate’s branding.
  • While the focus will be on member-driven, student-focused reading-related events, the State Affiliate should also pursue earned media opportunities at the local and state levels, utilize member communications vehicles, and online/social media to promote NEA's Read Across America to both members and the public.
  • Utilization of the RAA activity/event to help recruit and organize members by providing information in "meet and greet" type breakfast or lunch open houses and/or lit tables.
  • Make purchases of books and other appropriate items.
  • Recipients of previous RAA grants MUST submit progress report before a 2022 application will be considered.
  • Grant recipients are required to adhere by and implement RAA logo standards

*By diverse books, we mean books that feature diverse characters and recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) diversity of race, culture, language, setting, beliefs, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, income, ability, religion, family structure.

Application Process

1. Have an electronic copy of your Affiliate’s completed IRS W-9 Form available on your computer (you will be required to upload it in the next step). Download blank IRS W-9 Form. If you do not know your affiliate’s Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN), you can use the following links to look it up:

  1. State Affiliates EIN Quick Lookup
  2. Local Affiliates EIN Lookup via IRS Database

2. To submit your Affiliate's completed W-9, please click here. Within the capture form, please make sure to select the appropriate Center/Department to whom your affiliate is submitting a grant request.

3. Download a copy of the blank "Read Across America Event Grant" application, to familiarize yourself with it and gather all required information.

How to Apply:

1. You will be required to create an NEA Applicant ID and Password if you are applying for the first time.  To create a new NEA Applicant ID and Password, click the New Applicant? link under the E-mail input box on the first page of the application and follow instructions.

2. Next you will be prompted for your Affiliate's EIN.  You should already have this number from Step 1 of Before you Begin.  If you cannot locate your EIN using the search resources provides and your grant application is time sensitive, a link is provided to bypass this requirement.

3. Once in the application, provide all required information. The Save and Finish Later button will save your in-progress application to your NEA Applicant Account to complete later.

4. Finally, once you feel your application is complete, click the Review and Submit button. Missing information will be flagged, and you will have to provide it before you can submit your application.

Click here to start a new “NEA’s Read Across America” 2022 State Affiliate Event Grant application

Click here to return to a saved “NEA’s Read Across America” 2022 State Affiliate Event Grant application

For More Information
Contact Joyce René Carter, [email protected], or Heather Griffin, [email protected].

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